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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 10-09-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
KingRanch450
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Default EZ UP Canopies

For those of yall that use these for comps....can you tell me the difference between the express line and sierra line. The express is $120 and the sierra is $50. I'm just trying to determine if the express is worth the extra $70. If yall use any other brand I'd like to hear about them as well.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:42 PM   #2
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I can't tell you what the difference is, but they both look pretty lightweight construction-wise. Don't skimp on a canopy. I prefer the Caravan brands that are made for craft fairs. The legs are bigger and sturdier and the canvas is thicker. They are not light but they are very rugged. A good canopy should cost about $250. Take a look at eCanopy.com
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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Stay away from the Sierra line
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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From the looks of it, the sierra is a light weight model. In my opinion, not worth the $50 because the first big wind gust or rain storm that you encounter will collapse it. This is the one we have and have used for the last few years: http://www.samsclub.com/sams/e-z-up-...rSearchToView&

It's nice because it comes with sides, a little canopy (good if you're vending out of it) and a roller bag. It's stood up to 2 tropical storms and countless thunder storms.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
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I have the Sam's bundle also and I've been very happy with it for what it costs.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:05 PM   #6
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As you go up in the EZ-Up family, you get sturdier frames and thicker vinyl, and longer warranties.

They should have specs on the EZ-Up website. I got mine from BuyShade.com, and they listed the specs for all the canopies.

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Old 10-09-2013, 02:08 PM   #7
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fwiw....i found the caravans to be more sturdy than the lowend ezups. got mine at costco 4 years ago and still going strong.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Using an EZ-Up 12x16 Escort and 12x12 Sierra II. Both have slant legs and have held up for 2 years of comps (16). Think the Escort was $90 and the Sierra II $75 when purchased. The only advantage of the slant leg is they are harder to blow over if not anchored than the straight leg versions. The Sierra II looks like it's being replaced with the Vista next year. There are no side walls availabe for the 12x12 Sierra II only the 10x10 version. Next year will be purchasing the Sams Club Bundle. Having sides walls has become a nesessity. You never know about the weather.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:21 PM   #9
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My take:

Only the product lines E-Z Up lists on their own website (http://www.ezup.com) represent their top quality stuff. You will also find a lot of private branded canopies that carry the E-Z Up logo, but those are built to the specifications of the reseller (Sears, Academy Sports, Sams Club, etc.) and are almost always of lower quality. Not that they are necessarily bad, but when you buy a hundred dollar canopy, it matters little if the name on it is QuickShade, Caravan, Ozark Trail, Coleman or E-Z Up.

For that money you are going to get a lightweight frame and tent material that will likely give you about 3 years of moderate duty service. If you want something more robust you will have to spend over $300 to get a canopy that will deliver about 5 years of heavy duty service. Neither will stand up to a strong thunderstorm - the instant-up design simply can't handle 60mph winds.

At the end of the day you have to decide if you'd rather go for a cheap model that you will have to replace sooner or a pricey model and take the risk that your $600 canopy may take to the air two months after you bought it.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:41 PM   #10
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another vote for Caravan from me.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:09 PM   #11
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We use a Sierra II, I think it was 89 on Amazon and tie it down to a couple buckets filled with water. Not perfect but it held up well to the weather this past weekend at the Royal.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:02 PM   #12
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I've had many of the elcheapos & they all have one thing in common, they normally will break in any decent wind. I've had 1 Express that has lasted all of those & got 7+yrs usage out of it. It's well worth the $120 to get it. IIRC the differences are that the Express has an internal frame brace w/ the frame being a little thicker grade metal whereas the Sierra has a frame that goes around the outside of the canopy & is thinner metal.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #13
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Take a close look at Costco's "Undercover Professional", only available through Costco online when I got mine. Very sturdy, a spring loaded strut to tighten the tautness of the top so rain doesn't pool and designed to handle with only one person.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:27 PM   #14
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I see you are from Texas. When I think of Texas I think of wide open spaces, lots of wind and huge thunderstorms. I would get the sturdiest one I could get my hands on. I use a Sierra 12 x 12 with slant legs and there have been times I've held down the legs just in case
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:57 PM   #15
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I have 25 contests on my Walmart "First Up" canopy. I like it a lot. It looks like they have changed the name, but when it is time for me to buy another, I will buy this.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trai...anopy/21013583

Good luck.
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